After repeated requests, the Myanmar army raids rebel camps

16 March 2016
NSCN(IM) Cadres at the outfit's headquarters Hebron Camp in Nagaland.
Rajeev Bhattacharyya
NSCN(IM) Cadres at the outfit's headquarters Hebron Camp in Nagaland.
Rajeev Bhattacharyya

After a gap of more than four years, the Myanmarese army has once again raided camps belonging to an insurgent outfit in the Northeast, forcing the rebels to vacate the area.

According to some cadres belonging to underground rebel groups in Manipur, the operation was executed some weeks ago in Somra Tract, a region adjacent to Manipur’s Ukhrul district that is inhabited by Naga tribes from the Tankhul community.

“At least two camps were destroyed and burnt by the army but there were no reports of any casualty,” they explained. “Some items like medicines, mosquito nets and whatever foodstuff were available in the camps were carried away by the army after the demolition.”

The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) which is active in the Northeast of India and currently engaged in peace talks with the government, also has camps and hideouts in Myanmar’s Somra Tract. Last year, there were media reports claiming that a senior functionary of the outfit, Hangshi Ramson, who is wanted by the National Investigation Agency for his involvement in the smuggling of weapons, had escaped to Myanmar. The Assam Rifles had even used a helicopter to track down Ramson.

The cadres added that there were rumours about a camp of the NSCN-K, the Khaplang faction of the NSCN, being destroyed by the army but in a location north of the NSCN-IM camps.

Rajeev Bhattacharya is a senior journalist in Guwahati and author of Rendezvous With Rebels: Journey to Meet India's Most Wanted Men.

Keywords: NSCN Myanmar the Northeast
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